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March 2015 “Celebrating Age and Maturity”




Ripping THrough the Catskills How to Survive an IRS Audit Decoding Your Taxes

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318-221-7181 2015 Edition  The Best of Times SILVER PAGES  19 March 2015 3

March Index



8 STAT! Medical News


10 18 Habits That Will Change Your Life by Jon Gordon 14 Decoding Your Taxes, Healthcare Law by Family Features


Advice 16 18

Money Matters by Jason Alderman How to Survive and IRS Audit Dear Pharmacist by Suzy Cohen Reduce Inflammation Naturally With Nature's Pac-Man


20 Laws of the Land by Lee Aronson The Gift That Kept on Taking 22 Counselor's Corner by Karen Kersten When is Drinking a Problem? 24 From the Bench by Judge Jeff Cox The Judge's Role in Court Custody Cases



26 Traveltizers by Andrea Gross Ripping Through the Catskills 28 Tinseltown Talks by Nick Thomas The Ubiquitous William Schallert 30 The Bookworm Sez by Terri Schlichenmeyer The Silent Sister 32 Recent DVD Releases by Mark Glass "Rosewater", "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

In Every Issue



34 What's Cooking? Sweet Potatoes: The Versatile Vegetable 36 Get Up & Go! A March Calendar 38 Our Famous Puzzle Pages Crossword, Mega Maze, and Suduko 41 Parting Shots A Photo Gallery Filled with Fun


March 2015

Elder Law Attorney Kyle A. Moore

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I cannot even begin to thank you enough for how you took such great care of my parents' affairs and helped us through the tall weeds of wrapping up all of the end of life business concerns…. I was able to focus on what was going on with family without worry because I knew all of the legal things were handled well. I particularly appreciated you compassionate interactions with us. You never made us feel inferior for asking so many questions or even the same questions over and over. It is astounding how cloudy the mind becomes during these times. Thinking clearly was quite a chore. I can tell you that we have highly recommended your office to many others. Hiring your firm was one of the best decisions we made during the past several years. I have tears in my eyes recalling so many of the events of this passage of time and I can assure you we navigated it much more gracefully with your help. Thank you again for everything. Quite sincerely thanking God for you. -Terri Miller and family

Client Care Coordinator

Weems, Schimpf, Gilsoul, Haines, Landry & Shemwell, APLC 912 Kings highway, Shreveport, LA 71104 | The Best Of Times

March 2015


Publisher Gary L. Calligas

March 2015 l Vol. 24, No. 3 Founded in 1992 as Senior Scene News ISSN Library of Congress #1551-4366

Proudly Presented by:

Broadcasting every Saturday from 9:05 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. on NewsRadio 710 Keel, A Townsquare Media radio station in Shreveport, Louisiana.

March 7 - Broadcasting LIVE from NurseCare of Shreveport - SILVER PAGES debut

March 14 - "Shreveport's Plan for Seniors” Guest: Mayor of Shreveport, Ollie Tyler March 21 - “Graywashing: Taking Billions from Older Consumers” Guest: Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging March 28 - “Make Your Nest Egg Last Through Retirement” Guest: David A. Littell, Retirement Income Program Director at the American College of Financial Services

A monthly publication from TBT Multimedia, LLC P.O. Box 19510 Shreveport, LA 71149 (318) 636-5510

THE FINE PRINT: All original content published in THE BEST OF TIMES copyright © 2015 by TBT Multimedia, LLC, all rights reserved. Replication, in whole or in part by any means is prohibited without prior written permission from the publisher. Opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of the publication, TBT Mulitmedia, its publishers or staff. Always consult properly degreed and licensed professionals when dealing with financial, medical, legal or emotional matters. We cannot accept liability for omissions or errors and cannot be responsible for the claims of advertisers.

Editor Tina Miaoulis Calligas Account Executive Patrick Kirsop Mary Driscoll Design & Layout Jessica Rinaudo, Karen Peters Webmaster Dr. Jason P. Calligas Writer Jon Gordon Contributors: Jason Alderman, Lee Aronson, Suzy Cohen, Judge Jeff Cox, Mark Glass, Andrea Gross, Karen Kersten, Terri Schlichenmeyer, Nick Thomas

Streaming live on the Internet at Previously aired programs at Do you have a question for one of our guests? Email prior to the show.


March 2015


invite you to a Senior Health Fair and debut of the 2015 edition of Silver Pages, our annual resource directory.

Saturday, March 7, 2015 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. NurseCare of Shreveport 1736 Irving Place Shreveport, Louisiana

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March 2015


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March 2015

Despite the abundance of supervised programs and gizmos to encourage movement, health experts are still asking what it takes to get you moving. It’s probably more than your good intentions. “It’s very challenging to rely on will power to change,” says Jeremy Adam Steeves. He’s encouraging people to increase the number of steps they take each day. “The average American is getting just over 5,000 steps a day. The goal is 10,000 steps,” Steeves says. In one experiment he divided 58 sedentary, overweight adults into two groups. During the six-month trial, one group walked for 30 minutes a day; the second group stepped in place during the commercials in a 90-minute stretch of television viewing daily. Both groups increased their daily steps while decreasing their body fat and their waist to and hip circumference over the length of the experiment.

The TV-stepping group broke up their sitting time, which also is important, according to Steeves. For Marc Hamilton, the answer is to encourage more everyday movement. “If it looks like exercise and requires equipment you’ll perform it like exercise. You’ll do it for 30 minutes, check it off the list, then park yourself in front of the TV,” says Hamilton. People can “retool the habits of their day,” according to his research. “There are practical, feasible things you can do without exerting yourself. You’ll feel better, have a greater sense of energy and be more productive, ” Hamilton says. Make it a practice to get up from your desk to talk to colleagues across the room or pick up around the house every day. “You can experience healthful results based on how much time you spend moving, not just how much you exert yourself,” he says.

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Many women claim that grandchildren add immeasurable joy to their golden years, but they may not realize that their brains can actually benefit from the interaction. According to a new study performed at the University of Melborne in Australia and published in the journal Menopause, a weekly date with Grandma may actually keep her mentally sharp. The study researched women ages 57 to 68 and found that grandmothers who spend one day a week with their grandchildren are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other cognitive diseases than those who don’t. This may be because the mental activity that is required when taking care of children can increase brain function, which can lead to a healthier mental state. However, too much time with the grandchildren - five or more days a week - appeared to make grandma more likely to lose her marbles. It is no secret that children, especially at a younger age, require a lot of work and attention. Constant caretaking can take a toll on mind and body, possibly increasing susceptibility to diseases such has Alzheimer’s. The investigation also revealed that those spending the most time with their grandchildren felt that their own children had been more demanding of them, suggesting that feeling overextended may dampen the mood of those grandmothers, which impacted brain function.

Getting Older, Getting Fitter Growing older doesn’t mean becoming less active. According to the 2013 Tracking the Fitness Movement report from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, 45 percent of baby boomers visit a gym two or more times a week, and 21 percent of people older than 55 say they exercise at home. Here are the five most popular fitness activities among the 50-plus crowd: • Walking for fitness – 47.8% • Treadmill – 15.7% • Hand weights – 14.4% • Stretching - 12.8% • Bowling - 11.6% The Best Of Times

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18 Habits Tha t W i l l

Your Life

Here, I share 18 actionable tactics to help you create a more positive life — one that attracts great people and opportunities. By Jon Gordon


March 2015

Sure, most of us start each year intending to make it a good one. But even when the Universe is helping out by providing things like a growing economy and job security, creating a positive life for yourself is easier said than done. A Pollyanna outlook just isn’t enough to sustain us through life’s slings and arrows, whether they come in the form of fender benders, annoying colleagues, mortgage payments, a lingering flu bug, or something more serious. It isn’t enough to want a positive attitude. To develop and sustain one throughout adversity and challenges, you have to cultivate habits that lead to resilience and mental toughness. The best news is that positivity isn’t just another feel-good buzzword. It has the power to infuse your life with purpose, creativity, accomplishment, and energy. When you live your life with positive energy you attract positive opportunities and people.

Here are 18 real-life positivity tactics you can put into practice throughout the year. Become a selective listener and focus on the positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible. Yes, this really is a choice you make for yourself every day. Zoom focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask, What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire? Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions. Often, we allow our attention to be captured by each new shiny ball that rolls by, or by each minor fire that needs to be put out, and we end up channeling our time and energy toward tasks with smaller rewards.

Watch where you’re directing your energy. We all have a finite amount of energy. Don’t waste yours on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts, or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in your purpose, people, and the positive present moment. Focus on “Get to” vs. “Have to.” Each day, focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. For instance, think, I get to go to a job that utilizes my talent and strengths and that is full of opportunities, instead of, Ugh—I have to go to work today. Life is a gift, not an obligation. This may seem like an insignificant mental shift, but it will have a noticeable impact on your happiness and satisfaction. Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself. We all know what it’s like for our fears, worries, and what-ifs to completely hijack our minds. These negative trains of thought can hold us back, wreck our self-esteem, and impact our health in a very real way. The good news is, you have the power to change the conversation happening inside your head. Instead of listening to your complaints, fears, and doubts, talk to yourself and feed your mind with the words and encouragement you need to keep moving forward. Choose faith instead of fear. Faith turns adversities and dead-ends into detours to a better outcome than you thought possible. That’s not to say you’ll never feel fear—you will. You can use it as a tool to make smart decisions and to manage risk. Just don’t use it as an excuse to quit. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences. Don’t chase dollars or success. Decide to make a difference and build meaningful relationships, and success — specifically, lasting, meaningful success—will find you. Take a morning walk of gratitude. Weather permitting, wake up your body and mind by taking what I call a “Thank-You Walk” each morning. As you walk, challenge yourself to list things you’re grateful for: blessings in your life, events you’re looking forward The Best Of Times

to that day, and opportunities that have come your way. Even a five-minute walk around the block will help create a fertile mind ready for success, but if you have the time for a longer stroll, the physical and mental benefits will be even greater. Switch up your portion sizes. Make your first meal the biggest and your last meal the smallest. After all, you need the most fuel at the beginning of the day! Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card. Get more sleep. You can’t replace sleep with a double latte. When you’re well rested, your brain, body, attitude, and relationships will all operate at higher levels. Tap into the three greatest success strategies of all: love, serve, and care. Experience has taught me that these strategies are every bit as valuable as those taught in top business schools. Build your life and career around them, and never forget that people and relationships are at the heart of everything we do in every aspect of life. When you love, serve, and care about those around you, you’ll attract greater success, and you’ll stand out in a world where most people don’t love, serve, or care. Focus on your purpose every day. Remember why you do what you do. Think about your purpose and the legacy you want to leave. Try to distill this idea down as much as possible—perhaps even into one word that’s clear and easy to remember. We don’t get burned out because of what we do. We get burned out because we forget why we do it. Remember, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. This is easy to forget in a world that’s increasingly built around instant gratification. (Think overnight shipping, fast food, video streaming, and more.) While more and more things are available to us the moment we want them, I don’t think personal and professional success will ever be on that list. Don’t forget that there’s no substitute for hard work. Implement the “No Complaining Rule.” Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Complaints are full of negative energy

Create a more positive life —

one that attracts great people and opportunities. 1. Become a selective listener and focus on the positive. 2. Zoom focus. 3. Watch where you’re directing your energy. 4. Focus on “Get to” vs. “Have to.” 5. Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself. 6. Choose faith instead of fear. 7. Don’t chase dollars or success. 8. Take a morning walk of gratitude. 9. Switch up your portion sizes. 10. Get more sleep. 11. Tap into the three greatest success strategies of all: love, serve, and care. 12. Focus on your purpose every day. 13. Remember, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. 14. Implement the “No Complaining Rule.” 15. Read more books than you did in 2014. 16. Don’t seek happiness. 17. Do a “positivity assessment exercise” each evening. 18. Smile and laugh more.

March 2015


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March 2015

and fail to enhance our lives in any way. They don’t offer strategies, solutions, ideas, or encouragement. If you are complaining, you’re not leading.

Read more books than you did in 2014. The more you feed your mind, the stronger and more agile it grows. The more ideas and viewpoints you consider, the more innovative and empathetic you’ll be. Focus on reading books that help you learn, that inspire you, and that push you to consider life from new, unexplored angles. Don’t seek happiness. Yes, you read that correctly. The truth is, the things we think will make us happy often don’t. Overall, remember that lasting happiness rarely comes from “stuff” or accolades. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose, and happiness will find you. Do a “positivity assessment exercise” each evening. I suggest completing the following statements, either mentally or in a journal, each night before you go to bed: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished____________. Going to bed in a positive mood will improve the quality of your rest. This exercise will also train you to place your focus on what’s good in your life —something that, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen naturally! Smile and laugh more. There’s no need to be stoic and serious at every turn. In fact, smiles and laughter are natural anti-depressants. My final piece of advice is to enjoy the ride. You have only one ride through life, so make the most of it and enjoy it. Sure, there will be stressful situations and challenges you’ll have to overcome. But those things don’t have to define your year. So, how will you choose to make your life more positive?

Jon Gordon’s best-selling books and talks have inspired readers and audiences around the world. His principles have been put to the test by numerous NFL, NBA, and college coaches and teams, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, hospitals, and non-profits. He is the author of the Wall Street Journal bestseller The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, Training Camp, The Shark and the Goldfish, Soup, The Seed, and The Positive Dog; he is also coauthor of One Word That Will Change Your Life. Jon and his tips have been featured on Today, CNN, Fox & Friends, and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include the Atlanta Falcons, Campbell’s Soup, Wells Fargo, State Farm, Novartis, Bayer, and more. He and his training/consulting company are passionate about developing positive leaders, organizations, and teams. To learn more, visit

The Best Of Times

March 2015


Decoding Your Taxes, Health Care Law

Taxpayers get help with IRS Free File


ou don’t need to be an expert on taxes or the new health care law to get it right. The Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with industry-leading companies, is offering free tax software that will do the hard work for you. It’s called Free File, and it’s available only at Learn more at If you earned $60,000 or less - and 70 percent of us do - you are eligible for Free File’s brand-name software. If you made more than $60,000, you still have a free option in Free File Fillable Forms. This is the electronic version of IRS paper forms. It’s pretty basic, so this program is best for people comfortable doing their own taxes. Free File’s software programs will help you find the tax benefits you are due, help pick the right tax forms, and do the math for you. This year, Free File also helps you complete informa-


March 2015

tion on your return that is related to the Affordable Care Act. When it comes to the health care law, almost everyone will need to do something new when filing a tax return this year. For each month in 2014, you and everyone on your return will need to do one of the following: • Report healthcare coverage • Claim an exemption from coverage • Make a shared responsibility payment with your tax return Most people will simply have to check a box to indicate they maintained health care coverage for the entire year. Free File software will ask all the right questions; you supply the answers. More than 43 million people have used Free File since it started in 2003. They have saved $1.3 billion in tax preparation fees — simply by doing it themselves. Getting started is easy:

Gather your tax-related documents

Collect the tax materials needed to do your taxes. Here’s what you’ll need: • A copy of last year’s tax return • Valid Social Security numbers for yourself, spouse and children • All income statements, i.e. W-2 forms, from all employers • Interest and dividend statements, i.e. 1099 forms • Form 1099-G showing any state refunds • Unemployment compensation amount • Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, if you purchased coverage from a Health Insurance Marketplace • Records of your own and your family members’ health care insurance coverage, including employer provided, government, Marketplace or private coverage

Choose a brand-name software product

Once you’ve gathered your materials, go to to review the 14 company offerings. Each company sets its own criteria, usually based on age, income or state residency. You can either use a “help me” tool that will match software with your situation or you can review each of the company offerings. Most companies also offer state returns, some for free. Again, if your income was higher and you are comfortable preparing your own taxes, Free File Fillable Forms may be right for you.

Find tax credits

Then, let Free File do the hard work for you. Free File software can guide you through finding tax breaks, and help you receive a more accurate refund. Some people may not even be aware that they qualify for a tax credit. For example, the IRS estimates that one out of every five taxpayers eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable credit for taxpayers with moderate income, fail to claim it. If you or anyone on your return purchased health care coverage from the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may qualify for the premium tax credit. If you chose to have advance payments of the premium tax credit sent to your insurance provider in 2014, you must file a tax return. You must reconcile, or com­pare, the advance credit payments with the actual premium tax credit you are allowed to claim on your return. Learn more at

Get your refund faster

Once you’ve completed your return, you can also print a copy and e-file your federal taxes, absolutely free. With electronic filing, you will receive a confir­mation within minutes that the IRS has accepted your return. Or, if it’s not accepted, you can easily find out why. E-file helps make your tax return even more accurate, which means a quicker refund. To get your refund even faster, combine e-file with direct deposit. The Free File software - designed to provide a fast, safe and free filing option - is available online 24/7, giving you the freedom to choose when and how you do your taxes. Family Features

Health Care Law Everyone needs to understand how the health care law affects tax returns. You will need to complete one of the following steps, and using Free File, brand-name software makes it easier for you.

Reporting health care coverage If you and everyone on your tax return had health care coverage for all of 2014, simply check the “full year coverage” box when completing your return in the Free File software. For most people, that’s it! Claiming a Coverage Exemption If you did not have health care coverage for all or part of 2014, you may qualify for a coverage exemption. Free File will help you complete Form 8965 and file it with your tax return. Making a shared responsibility payment If you or your dependents had neither health care coverage nor an exemp­tion, you may need to make a payment with your tax return. Free File will help you calculate your payment and report it on your tax return. About the Premium Tax Credit If you or anyone on your return purchased insurance coverage from the Marketplace, you may be eligible for the premium tax credit. If you chose to have advance payments of the premium tax credit sent to your insurer in 2014, you must reconcile or compare the advance credit payments with the actual premium tax credit you are allowed to claim on your return.

The Best Of Times

March 2015


Money matters

How to Survive an IRS Audit By Jason Alderman ew events inspire more dread than an IRS tax audit. Even if you're confident you've accounted for every cent of income and only taken legitimate deductions, it's hard not to worry what a close examination of your tax returns might uncover – not to mention the time spent tracking down old records. Here are a few pointers to help allay your fears and better prepare in case you should ever get chosen for the dreaded IRS audit: There are three basic types of IRS audits: • Correspondence audit, which is conducted entirely by mail. You'll receive a letter from the IRS asking for additional information about specific items on your tax return. • Field audit, where an IRS agent comes to your home or business to examine records and observe where you work. • Office audit, where you must be interviewed at an IRS office. According to Chris Kollaja, a certified public accountant and partner at A.L. Nella & Company in San Francisco, California,


if you're having a correspondence audit and you feel your records are too voluminous to mail, you can request a face-to-face audit. "You can also ask a representative, such as your accountant, tax preparer or lawyer, to help prepare for the audit and even attend it in your place, if allowed," says Kollaja. "An experienced tax professional can tell you what to expect, guide your responses and keep the audit on track should you get tongue-tied or start sharing more than is necessary." The chances of being audited are low. "Sometimes returns are randomly selected for audit, but more often it's because something jumped out in the computer analysis each return receives," he explains. Common items that might trigger an audit: • Taxable income listed on your return doesn't match amounts W-2 or 1099 forms, 401(k) plan or IRA distributions, brokerage accounts, etc. • Taking above-average charitable deductions relative to your income. • Deducting business meals, travel and entertainment.

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• Claiming the home office deduction. • Failure to report foreign bank account assets. • Concealing cash income or receipts. • Excessive cash transactions over $10,000. • Your close relationship to another taxpayer being audited. • Someone reports suspicious activity by you (the IRS offers a

Whistleblower Award). Kollaja recommends several ways to prepare for and attend an audit: Respond to the IRS within the stated deadline – usually 30 days. • Organize paperwork and receipts pertinent to the issues they've identified. • If you won't have everything ready in time for the audit, contact your auditor to discuss whether it can proceed anyway, or if they'll agree to postpone it. • Bring or send only documentation requested in the initial notice. At an in-person audit, keep you answers brief and don't voluntarily provide information that could launch a fishing expedition. • If the examiner questions you on an item not mentioned in the initial notice, you're allowed to ask for additional time to fulfill additional requests. • Never give original receipts to the IRS agent – they are not responsible for lost paperwork. • You're allowed to make an audio recording of the audit provided you sent your agent written notice 10 days before the appointment. Video recordings are not allowed. • Always be polite. Acting belligerent or evasive can only hurt your cause. Kollaja suggests reading IRS Publication 556 to learn more about how the audit process works and reviewing the section on itemized deductions in Publication 17, both available at Bottom line: Think positively – you might even come out of the audit with a tax refund – it happens. Jason Alderman directs Visa's financial education programs. To Follow Jason Alderman on Twitter:

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Reduce InFLammation Naturally with Nature’s Pac-Man by Suzy Cohen, R.Ph.


ave you ever had a sore throat, been stung by a bee, or twisted your ankle? Do you have arthritis, back pain or headaches? Whenever you are in pain, even post-surgical pain, your body makes compounds in response to the injury which cause temporary redness, heat, swelling, and pain. Then naturally produced enzymes in your body eat up these inflammatory compounds, and that is when you notice the swelling goes down, the pain is relieved and the redness or stiffness recedes. One second ago, an enzyme in your body called superoxide dismutase (SOD) just chased out a cancer-causing toxin that your cell accidentally spawned. You make all sorts of enzymes, and what’s cool is that you can also buy certain enzymes as a dietary supplement, including SOD. Lactose is an enzyme that

chews up milk sugars, helping some people to tolerate milk. Bromelain, derived from pineapples, helps with allergies and helps people post-surgically. It might even reduce scarring if taken soon enough. People who take acid blockers could benefit from papain, an enzyme derived from papaya fruit that works nicely with your stomach’s pH range. Proteolytic enzymes another type of enzyme. They chew up proteins and help with digestion. I think they’re great for

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chronic pain syndromes. They help dissolve fibrin deposits which helps bruising. As a teenager (way back in the 1980’s) we played a game called Pac Man. Remember? (Please tell me you remember.) This popular arcade game included a Pac-Man which traveled a maze and gobbled up ghosts. I was a monster at Pac-Man in my hey day! Proteolytic enzymes work in the same way, they just gobble up debris, as opposed to ghosts. With less debris, there is improved circulation. That means more oxygen and healing nutrients to the site of injury. As a pharmacist, I recommend you reach for proteolytic enzymes before you NSAIDs such as acetaminophen, naproxen or ibuprofen. Why? Because they are temporary and they have side effects. It’s the equivalent of applying a bandage, and while most of you fair out well, the unlucky few experience diarrhea, nausea, headaches, dizziness, bleeding ulcers or heaven forbid, kidney damage. Besides, if you mask your pain with medicine, but continue to operate as normal, you increase your risk of permanent damage. A German paper studied proteolytic enzymes in 100 athletes. The results were shocking. More than 75 percent said the enzyme treatment was favorable and no side effects were reported! So incredible were the results that the German government sent millions of enzyme capsules to the Olympics to help their athletes heal quicker. Enzymes are a necessity to life, just like oxygen, food, clean water and shelter. (Some may argue that chocolate should be included as well). For chronic pain syndromes, as opposed to digestive issues, I recommend that you take your proteolytic enzyme supplement on an empty stomach. This increases the ‘Pac-Man’ effect by up to 40 percent. While these supplements are generally well-tolerated, I occasionally hear of allergies, rashes and digestive upset. This info is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose your condition. Always consult your physician for all medical matters. Visit ©2015 Suzy Cohen, R.Ph. Distributed by Dear Pharmacist, Inc. The Best Of Times


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LAWS of the land

The Gift that Kept on Taking by Lee Aronson


anford had lived in his house for about 20 years. When he had first bought the home, he had taken out a 30 year mortgage. So he had about 10 more years of payments left. But because of his failing health, he decided to give his home to his son who had moved in to help take care of him. Sanford planned to continue to live in his home and to make all the mortgage payments, but he was grateful to his son for his help and wanted to show his appreciation by giving his home to his son. But when Sanford’s mortgage

company found out about this plan, they didn’t like it at all. When Sanford had applied for his mortgage, the company had agreed to lend the money to him, not his son. They had researched Sanford’s credit history and his employment record and knew he was a good credit risk, but they knew nothing about his son. Was the son good with money? Did he have a job? The mortgage company had no idea and therefore didn’t want the son to become the owner of the home. Sanford thought that all this shouldn’t matter; after all, he was going to still be making all the mortgage payments. So why should the mortgage company care who owned the home? Do you think it should matter? Consider this: let’s say that I take out a loan and buy a home. A year later, I sell the home to my good friend Rollo, but rather than paying off the mortgage, I take Rollo’s money and run. As you

simple, r o d n a sted. r it is gr Whethe f Times is intere to Tina at o The Bes t 5 p o ur t Email yo lli 5. h1 by Marc


March 2015

can imagine, my mortgage company is going to be pretty upset. They’re going to threaten to foreclose on the home, but I won’t care: I don’t own the home anymore. As far as I’m concerned, foreclosure is an empty threat. As a result, almost all mortgages have (usually in very small print) special language that says if the borrower sells or gives away the home, then the entire mortgage becomes immediately due. Sure enough, although Sanford didn’t know it, that language was in his mortgage. So his mortgage company told him that if he gave his house to his son, then he would have to pay off the entire loan, i.e. 10 more years worth of payments, right away. Sanford couldn’t afford that. And he certainly didn’t think it was fair because he was promising that he was going to continue to make the regular payments for the next 10 years as he originally agreed to do when he took out the mortgage. It turns out that the mortgage company’s threat wasn’t even legal. There is a federal law that says there are some times when a mortgage company, no matter what the actual mortgage paperwork says, can’t accelerate the loan and demand full payment right away. One of those times is when a borrower dies and the home is inherited by his heirs. Other times when the mortgage company can’t demand full payment right away is when a borrower gives the home to a spouse or child or puts the home in a particular kind of trust. In Sanford’s case, even though his mortgage specifically says he will have to pay off his loan right away in full if he gives away his home, because he is giving the home to his son, he is protected by federal law. As long as Sanford continues to make the monthly mortgage payments, the mortgage company won’t be able to foreclose or prevent Sanford from making the gift of the home to his son. Just because Sanford can do it, doesn’t mean he should; there could be some bad tax consequences for Sanford’s son and things could become real tricky for Sanford should he need to go into a nursing home. If you find yourself in a situation like Sanford’s, it makes good sense to talk to an expert before making a big decision. There are times when it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. Lee Aronson is a Shreveport attorney with Lineage Law, LLC, an estate and business planning law firm serving clients throughout Louisiana.

The Best Of Times

March 2015


Counselor's corner


When is Drinking a Problem?

by Karen Kersten MA LPC LMFT question I am often asked in the community is “How does anyone know when they could have a problem with their drinking?” So, this month I want to help answer this question. Since we already know that “too much” alcohol consumption can cause inebriation, slurred speech, disorientation, poor judgment, anger outbursts, nausea, vomiting, and physiological toxicity (everybody knows this!), I want to share some information about the signs and symptoms that one could be having a problem with alcohol use. Many people have told me that they had a friend, relative, colleague or neighbor who seemed to be struggling with an alcohol problem but could only say they felt like something was “off.” Let’s begin by noting the legal guidelines as addressed by the National Association of Mental Health (NAMI) regarding consumption: One (that’s ONE) 12 oz. beer per hour; one 6 oz. glass of wine per hour; or one and a half ounces of hard liquor...yes, per hour – is generally acceptable. Exceeding this guideline can be one sign of abuse! The following is a list of questions one might ask when considering whether use has moved into the category of abuse: • Why am I drinking alcohol? • Am I experiencing urges to drink? • What are the effects on me?


March 2015

• Am I wanting to drink more often or for longer periods of time than I used to? • Why does each drinking event require more actual alcohol consumption to feel relaxed? • Despite becoming ill from a drinking episode, why am I continuing to choose alcohol consumption? • Why ARE my friends, family or others mentioning my choice to drink alcohol? • Why am I having trouble limiting my amount after that first drink? • Why do I find that I am scheduling other activities, tasks or events around the time I want to have a drink? For example, if I am invited to an event at 4:00 p.m. but that is the time I usually begin drinking, am I going to forego that experience so I can be available to have access to my alcohol. Or if I go, am I going to be sure to leave by 5:00 so I can be free to find alcohol to drink. • Has my work performance suffered because I am not concentrating on my job? • Has my work attendance suffered because of days absent due to a hangover from alcohol use? • Have I stopped doing my usual activities (spending and enjoying family time, socializing, volunteer work, hobbies) because I have lost interest? • Have I put myself at risk for a car accident, or for a DWI by driving under the influence? • Do I continue to drink even though I have been told by the doctor that alcohol is contributing to my health issues?

• Am I experiencing withdrawal symptoms when alcohol’s effects wear off? If you (or someone you know) suspect a problem with alcohol use, some options to consider might be to have an assessment with a licensed mental health counselor or discuss your concerns with your primary care physician. Reaching out to local 12 Step Alcoholics Anonymous meetings is another option for those who want to stop drinking alcohol. There are daily meetings from 7:00 a.m. until as late as 10:00 p.m. and several are conducted on Sundays as well. I hope this information is of help to you! {Editor's Note: If you suspect that you, or someone you know, has a drinking problem, locally you can call Alcoholics Anonymous at 318-865-2172 or the Council on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse at 318-222-8511} Karen Kersten MA LPC LMFT, is a counselor with The Center for Families, a nonprofit counseling center dedicated to serving Northwest Louisiana. Counseling is provided on a sliding fee scale.

The Best Of Times

March 2015


from the BENCH

The Judge's Role in Child Custody Cases by Judge Jeff Cox


ast Saturday, I had the opportunity to appear on the The Best of Times Radio Hour with Gary Calligas. Gary asked questions about juries and other aspects of serving as a Judge. I was able to discuss what a judge faces in the courtroom and what we, as Judges in Bossier/Webster Parish, do in a typical week. Gary asked me what types of cases are my most difficult and I said, without any hesitation, that family law days are the most difficult, if not heart-wrenching, for a Judge. Child custody cases are usually the most difficult aspect of a Judge’s day. Each party feels they are correct and they know the best interest for their children. In the most contested child custody cases, it does not become an issue about the best interest of the children, but becomes an issue of which parent is perceived to win. Judges are forced to make decisions which affect these children for the rest of their lives, simply because the parents cannot get along. In most cases, the parties agree to a mental health expert that interviews all parties involved in the litigation. The expert will talk to the parents and the children, watch interaction between them, and make recommendations as to custody of the children based on their evaluations. This expert for the court is considered to be a disinterested third party involved in the litigation whose testimony is given a great amount of weight due to their qualifications in this area. In looking at custody of the children, Louisiana Civil Code Article 134 has set forth the factors a Judge is to take into consideration when determining a child custody case. These factors are: 1) emotional ties between party and child; 2) ability to nurture the child - capacity of each party to give the child love, affection, and spiritual guidance; 3) ability to provide for the child; 4) prior relationship of child with party; 5) stability-permanence, as family unit, of existing or proposed custody home; 6) moral fitness of the parties;

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7) health of parties - mental and physical; 8) history - home, school, and com munity history; 9) preferences of the child; 10) cooperation with the other party; 11) location of the parties; and, 12) past caregiver status. Each of these factors is to be weighed by the Judge. Factors such as past or present substance abuse by a party, one party talking bad about the other party, one party failing to allow the children to visit the other party, extended families talking bad about the other party involved in the litigation, and especially children’s preference are all weighed by the Judge. Not only are the parent’s rights affected by child custody cases, but the grandparents’, aunts’, uncles’, and cousins’ rights are affected. All persons involved in a child custody case feel the effects of having to witness a family being separated. In some cases, relatives, other than the parents, are given the children. Grandparents, under certain circumstances, are given the right to seek visitation with their grandchildren. In some extraordinary

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cases, the grandparents may be given the custody of the children due to the fact that the parents are not considered by the Court to be the best persons to take care of the children. If the custody case is heavily contested, the parties usually leave the courtroom feeling that they have been sold out by their attorney and that the Judge is a complete moron. I remind each litigant of the following before they leave. This is their children. The children only have two natural parents. The children are not property rights to be fought over and won. How these children grow up is how they, as parents, raise the children. If one parent talks bad about the other parent, the children are hurt and torn apart because they love both of the parents. A Judge is an imperfect person making an imperfect decision about their children’s lives. The Judge can only go on the information he or she has been given. If they want the best decision for their children’s lives, then they, the parents, should make those decisions and not depend on the Judge to decide what is best for the children. If it does come down to the

Judge making the decision, then the Judge is charged with the duty of doing what he or she thinks is in the best interest of the child whether the parents like the decision or do not like the decision. One thing I can honestly say is that I pray for wisdom regarding these cases each day before I take the bench, as I know my decision will affect many lives. I would ask you, as readers, to pray for the families involved in this type of litigation, the attorneys, and the Judges that are required to make these decisions. The children involved in this type of litigation are truly innocent parties caught in the middle. As I stated to Gary when we were talking, if there is any area of the law you would like me to discuss in this article, please email it to the Editors at The Best of Times. They will forward it to me and I will try to write an article on the subject. Judge Jeff Cox is the 26th Judicial Court Judge for Bossier/Webster Parishes, Division C.

March 2015


Ripping Through the

s l l i k s t a C Story by Andrea Gross Photos by Irv Green


forests and lakes from atop Hunter Mountain, we want to get ver there, to the east, I can see Massachusetts and up close and personal with the actual sites that inspired some of Connecticut. There to the north is Vermont. And here the most well known paintings. Thus we head back to town to under my feet is New York. I’m at the fire tower atop embark on the Hudson River School Art Trail. Hunter Mountain, high in the Catskill mountain range. It took On our way down the mountain, we stop to see the largerme a good part of the morning to get here — eleven minutes than-life blue sandstone statue of Rip Van Winkle, carved by in the aptly named Kaatskill Flyer, a six-passenger chairlift that sculptor Kevin Van Hentenryck. The Catskills are Rip-country, whisked me to a spot more than 3,000 feet above sea level, the place where Washington Irving’s most famous character and many times that long to huff and puff my way up another slumbered for twenty years before awakening to find himself in a 1,000 feet. But it was worth every ragged breath. The view is new and totally unfamiliar world. Will we too find a whole new stupendous. world when we go to the sites depicted by the Hudson River It’s a scene that has inspired writers and painters, attracted hikers and skiers, and made New York’s Great Northern Catskills School artists? How much have these places changed over the one of the United States’ oldest and most desirable vacation years? Are they still gloriously unspoiled? destinations. To prepare for our trail-walk, we stop at the Mountain View Historical Society, where a In 1825 a young British expat named Thomas Cole came large display shows us paintings of the various to the area and began painting landscapes that depicted the area’s unspoiled wilderness. His paintings spoke to something sites — works such as Thomas Cole’s “Lake with Dead Trees,” which we see when we visit deep in the American soul, a feeling that the young country North-South Lake, and Asher B. Durand’s wasn’t constrained by the stuffiness of Europe but rather offered possibilities that stretched as far as the mountains and as high as the sky. The Catskills are Rip-country, the place Other artists followed Cole, and thus was born the Hudson River Art School, a loose association where Washington Irving’s most of artists whose work celebrated their environment. famous character slumbered for Soon people from all over the eastern United States, twenty years before awakening to as well as those from as far away as Europe, rushed to visit the pristine areas portrayed in the paintings. find himself in a new and totally My husband and I decide to do the same. While unfamiliar world. we get a panoramic view of the hills and valleys,


March 2015

“Kaaterskill Clove,” which is best viewed from an overlook near NYS Route 23A. The first two stops — Cedar Grove, which is the home and studio where Cole created his paintings, and Olana, the home of his disciple Frederic Church — ground us further in the beliefs and work of these two painters, but it is the six other sites that give us the spirit of place for which the school was known. As for the answer to our question… Yes, most of the sites have remained remarkably unspoiled. In short, following the Hudson River School Art Trail is like taking a long walk through an open-air museum, one that has preserved the past while making it accessible to present-day visitors. We also explore places that aren’t directly related to the Art Trail. A leisurely stroll takes us along railroad ties that date back to the 1880s when the development of the railroad made it easier for vacationers to reach the Catskills. A visit to the RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary introduces us to the area’s wildlife, from muskrats and beavers to great blue herons and what seems like hundreds of dragonflies. And in Coxsackie we’re introduced to the architectural, agricultural and social history of the area when we visit the region’s oldest home. The Bronck House, built in 1663, is now part of museum complex that includes eleven structures and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Finally, on our last day we get a fly-over view of the region via a ride on the longest and highest zipline in North America. As we soar 600 feet above the forest, it’s easy to see why the Great Northern Catskills has always captivated people, from the landscape artists of the nineteenth century to the vacationers of today. What isn’t so easy to understand is why, when he lived in such a beautiful place, Rip Van Winkle spent twenty years asleep!

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March 2015


The Ubiquitous William Schallert by Nick Thomas


f you have watched television since the 1950s, there’s no avoiding William Schallert. His distinctive, mellow voice and comfortingly familiar face have appeared on series ranging from “Father Knows Best” to “Desperate Housewives” and everything in between (see “I’ve never added up the total, but I did work a lot!” said Schallert, from his home in Pacific Palisades, Calif. The tally of his television appearances is close to 300, with another 100 feature films – the first being an uncredited role in “The Foxes of Harrow” in 1947 which Schallert still vividly recalls. “I had one line as a banker delivering a message to the New Orleans stock exchange: ‘Gentlemen, gentlemen, the bank of the United States in Philadelphia has closed its doors!’” Schallert says the scene was memorable because it called for another actor to shoot himself, but was unable to coordinate firing the gun with the gunshot sound produced by crew backstage. “They couldn’t see each other, so the shot would go off sometimes before or sometimes after the trigger was pulled. It got to be hysterical,” laughed Schallert. “But they kept me over and I ended up getting three day’s pay for one. So I figured this was a great way to make a living!” In the beginning, Schallert says roles came slowly, but by 1959 he was hot. “I worked 57 times that year, then got a recurring role on ‘Dobie Gillis,’ and of course as the father on ‘The Patty Duke Show’ in 1963,” he said. However, the uncertainty of series work could be unsettling. “I knew the show was coming to an end, and was concerned what would happen,” he said of The Patty Duke Show. “Fortunately I started doing voiceover work in commercials and that really paid the bills for the next 20 years.” Schallert has been invited to sci-fi conventions due to roles in ’50s film classics such as “The Man


March 2015

from Planet X,” “Them,” and “The Incredible Shrinking Man.” He also guest starred in ‘The Trouble with Tribbles,’ one of the most popular “Star Trek” episodes. But he says one of his favorite TV guest roles was in “Get Smart,” where he appeared in several episodes as the very elderly and unsteady Admiral Hargrade who would fall over at the slightest touch – an irony not lost on the 92-yearold Schallert, now coincidentally the exact age as his character during the 1968 season. “The admiral was a charming character and looking back as an actor, I still think the ways I made him tumble over were funny,” he said. “But now I am the age his character was supposed to be, and the actual falling down part isn’t funny anymore! Falls can become serious health issues for seniors.” While Schallert says he has experienced some falls, his main health issue is his legs. “I have peripheral neuropathy and wear braces,” he said. “They help me stay balanced if I use a walker, but it’s just easier to get around in a wheelchair.” Despite the physical limitation, Schallert doesn’t entirely rule out working in the future. “Although I’m more or less retired, if someone offered me a stage role and it was something I could manage, I’d probably do it,” he says. “But working in film or TV would be too difficult now. Besides, I did my share!” Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 500 magazines and newspapers.

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“The Silent Sister” by Diane Chamberlain ©2014, St. Martin’s Press, $26.99, 346 pages by Terri Schlichenmeyer


ometimes, you find the strangest things in the oddest places. How, for example, did that thing you spent months searching for suddenly appear right in front of you, as if it were there all along? You quit hunting eons ago. You figured the darn thing was gone forever but no there it was. Some findings come as nice surprises. Others can make you regret the whole search. In “The Silent Sister” by Diane Chamberlain, a daughter wishes she’d stopped looking… Riley MacPherson knew the task ahead wouldn’t be a pleasant one. After her father died unexpectedly, it fell to her to clean his house and sell his assets; she was, after all, his estate’s executrix. Still, it might’ve been nice to get some help from her brother, Danny, who really only wanted to be left alone. And their older sister, Lisa…? Well, that was a sore subject. When Riley was just two years old, Lisa disappeared, an assumed suicide. Her kayak had been found in a half-frozen river; her body had never been recovered. Riley barely remembered the teenager who drowned herself, but Danny did – and for some reason, he had nothing good to say about Lisa. Her suicide had scarred their family and Danny had a troubled childhood. That, perhaps, was why Riley was the one going through their father’s belongings. Each item she found in his messy office stabbed at her heart. Everything held memories, until she opened his checkbook register. Why had her father been writing out $500 checks to Tom Kyle, a long-time


March 2015

renter? It wasn’t as though they were friends. And why, when she tried to talk to the Kyles, did Mrs. Kyle insist that Riley had been adopted? That was an odd thing – but there was a lot odd going on. Her father, for instance, had apparently been dating an old family friend for years and Jeannie Lyons seemed to know more than she was saying – especially about Lisa. But Riley didn’t need Jeannie. She’d discovered a few shocking family secrets all on her own: before she went missing, Lisa had been charged with murder. And there were reasons to believe that she was very much alive… Like many people, I keep a pile of books on the table beside my bed. “The Silent Sister” was at the top of the pile, and it kept me up for quite a few nights. I have to admit that I had The Big Secret figured out early, but author Diane Chamberlain kept me around anyhow with great characterization, an excellent amount of taut suspense, and enough fast-paced movement to hold my interest. I liked how Chamberlain told this story, moving between sisters and through time. My only complaint: the ending comes too coincidentally, too conveniently, too abruptly. And yet, even if it does finish with a sense of mid-air suspension, I think the richness and thrill of this novel’s plot overcomes its flaws. If you’re a whodunit fan, in fact, you might find “The Silent Sister” to be perfect. Terri Schlichenmeyer has been a professional book reviewer for over a decade.

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March 2015

by Mark Glass, an officer & director of the St. Louis Film Critics Association

Rosewater 

(R) As an ardent fan of The Daily Show, when Jon Stewart left for the summer of 2013 to direct this movie, I was sorry to see him go, even though his decision was not only understandable, but laudable. The film dramatizes the true story of Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari who was imprisoned for 118 days on bogus charges of espionage, largely due to his appearing in a satirical skit for Stewart’s show. After the ordeal, Bahari wrote a compelling memoir, which formed the basis for Stewart’s debut as director and co-writer of the screenplay for a feature film. Gael Garcia Bernal plays Bahari, a Tehran native living in London and working for Newsweek. He returned home to cover their hotly-contested 2009 elections. While there, he met members of the opposition during his reporting, fearing more for their safety than they seemed to. He also sat down with Daily Show “correspondent” Jason Jones for an amusing interview that wound up causing more unanticipated backlash than laughs. At first, Bahari couldn’t believe his captors didn’t know the bit was in jest. But months of isolation and interrogation took a severe toll on him, as would be true for anyone. The film efficiently covers the period from just before his return to Iran until the end of his incarceration, powerfully depicting the ordeal not only from his perspective, but including plenty of

context for how and why it occurred, and how much diversity exists among the Iranian populace, despite the staunch theocratic facade presented by their political leaders. The viewing experience is far from pleasant, though the government’s methods of trying to force a public confession to a crime he never even dreamed of committing were far more psychological than physical. This is a compelling tale not only because it’s true, but for how it is emblematic of many big-picture issues underlying our dealings with Iran and throughout the entire region. The movie should turn out to be a winwin. John Oliver’s stint behind the desk while Stewart was away likely led to his superb weekly news-with-a-comic- twist show (just renewed for a second season) on HBO. Stewart’s delivery of such an intense, insightful account of this appalling set of events is especially impressive for a guy who spent years primarily as a stand-up comic before finding his voice as a first-rate satirist.

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) ½

(R) If the title looks a bit off, it double duty, setting the table for the disorienting dramedy that follows. Michael Keaton, famous largely for two epic turns as Batman, plays an aging movie star, fallen on

hard times after his glory days as big-screen superhero, Birdman. Now he’s struggling to revive his career, scratch his way back to solvency, and finally gain respect as a legitimate actor by launching a rather turgid Broadway drama. The film covers the chaotic week of final preparations for opening night, in the face of a torrent of personal and professional clashes. A key co-star craps out, causing a seemingly lucky upgrade in his replacement (Edward Norton), before he turns into a mixed blessing. Keaton’s far-from-loving daughter (Emma Stone) is hanging around as a production assistant, while working out plenty of her own issues. Stars notwithstanding, the viewing experience is dominated by pace and staging, as cameras follow the players through a maze of backstage passageways and rooms, as one conflict morphs into another. There’s sort a cinema verite feel to the proceedings, as we struggle to keep track of the rises, falls, gains and losses swirling around the theater. The tale unfolds so weirdly that Zach Galifianakis, as Keaton’s staunchest ally and producer, plays the sanest one in the bunch! As problems pile up, Keaton seems constantly on the verge of losing his sanity, his investment, and maybe more. Moments of dark comedy keep us off balance with the ceaseless waves of petty spats, old grudges and major clashes that plague the production, and may exhaust many among its audience. Despite some shortcomings in the script, exceptional ensemble performances, and deft direction in claustrophobic settings by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu make this a unique moviegoing experience that rewards those who make the effort to follow the travails of these troupers.

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March 2015


Family Features


f you’re looking for a little variety to spice up your life, cooking with a versatile veggie such as the sweet potato may give your menu the satisfying kick you crave, along with a healthy dose of the nutrients your body needs. With virtually no fat and low in sodium, sweet potatoes, or yams, fit perfectly into a low-carb lifestyle, with major nutritional bonuses to boot. In addition to being a source of vitamin B-6, iron, potassium and fiber, the sweet potato provides twice the recom­mended daily allowance of vitamin A and more than one-third of the requirements for vitamin C.

Creamy Smoked Sweet Potato Soup

Courtesy of Samantha Foglesong, New Orleans, La. Servings: 6 – 8 4 extra-large sweet potatoes (about 5 pounds) 4 cups seafood stock 2 cups heavy whipping cream ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 pound fresh jumbo lump crabmeat, picked free of shells 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted 1 Tbs thinly sliced chives


March 2015

Prepare smoker to 200°F. Smoke sweet potatoes 2½ – 3 hours. Let cool, and peel. In large Dutch oven, combine sweet potatoes, stock and cream. Blend on high speed with an immersion blender until smooth. Heat over medium heat, and add ½ teaspoon salt, then cinnamon and nut­ meg. Strain mixture through fine-mesh sieve into large bowl; discard solids. In medium bowl, combine crab, lemon juice, red pepper, remaining salt, butter and chives. Divide soup among bowls and top with crab mixture.

Piquant Sweet Potato Quiche Courtesy of Karen McGowan, Houston,TX Servings: 6 1 bag (15-ounces) frozen sweet potato fries, thawed ¼ cup melted unsalted butter 1½ cups shredded Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese 2 cups chopped cooked ham ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup half-and-half 1½ tsp. salt ½ tsp. smoked paprika ½ tsp. ground black pepper ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 10-inch pie dish with non­stick cooking spray. Pulse sweet potato in food processor until shredded. Transfer sweet potato to sieve and press with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Press potato into bottom and up sides of prepared pie dish. Brush with melted butter and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until edges of crust are golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. Reduce oven to 350°F. Add Havarti cheese, jalapeno, Swiss cheese, ham and chives to crust in one layer. In medium bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, salt, paprika, pepper and cayenne. Pour evenly over cheese mixture and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until knife inserted into center comes out clean, 30–40 min­utes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Sweet Potato S’mores Servings: 6 Courtesy of Michele Carl, Masonville, Colo. 1 cup pecans 1 cup almonds ¾ cup honey, divided ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract 12 dried pitted dates ⅛ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 2 cans (15 ounces each) sweet potato puree ½ cup apple cider ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves ½ cup minced crystallized ginger 2 cups miniature marshmallows Dark chocolate shavings for garnish

Preheat oven to 170°F. In food processor, pulse pecans and almonds until chopped. Add ¼ cup honey, vanilla, dates, salt, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and butter, and process until finely chopped. Spread in thin layer on parch­ment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crispy, about 3 hours. Let cool, and cut into 3-inch squares. Reduce oven to 250°F. Spray a 13-by9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In food processor, combine sweet potato, apple cider, remain­ing honey, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and remaining cinnamon; process until smooth. Stir in crystallized ginger. Transfer to prepared baking dish, and cook 1 hour. Stir well, and cook 30 min­utes more. Let cool to room temperature. Increase oven to 300°F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with non­ stick cooking spray. Spread ½-inch layer of sweet potato butter on each cracker. Top with marsh­mallows, and place on prepared baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chocolate shav­ings and serve.

Tips for perfect sweet potatoes These prize-winning recipes show you how easy it is to create unique dishes with versatile, nutritious sweet potatoes. Before you get started, remember these tips from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission: • Fresh sweet potatoes can be stored for up to a month at 55°F to 65°F, but should not be refrigerated until after they are cooked. • Always use a stainless steel knife when cutting a sweet potato; using a carbon blade will cause the yam to darken. • One 15-ounce can of sweet potatoes equals one cup of fresh sweet potatoes. • Canned sweet potatoes are precooked, so add them at the end of a recipe. For more free recipes, or to enter your recipe in the national Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission’s 2015 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest, please visit

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Concerts Broadway Nights: Craig Schulman Sings Heroes, Monsters, & Madmen Shreveport Symphony. Saturday, March 28 at 7:30 p.m. @ RiverView Theatre in downtown Shreveport. Broadway star tenor Crai Schulman sings ‘Hero’ songs from Les Miserables and Camelot; ‘Monsters’ from The Phantom Of The Opera and Beauty and the Beast; ‘Madmen’ from Little Shop of Horrors,The Secret Garden and many more! Tickets are $17 - $58. Call the box office at 318-227-TUNE (8863). Events 8th ASEANA 2015 Spring Festival "Soursdey Mut" Cambodian Festival Saturday, March 28, 4 to 9 p.m. at the ASEANA Asian Gardens in downtown Shreveport. Enjoy ever popular authentic Asian cuisine. The Spring Cambodian Festival program presentation will be from 5 to 6:30 pm and will include classical Cambodian dances, fashion show, dancing, and music. Everyone is invited and admission is Free! For infor contact Mary Grace De Joya-Vea at (318) 797-4258

CORK Wine Festival - Presented by Red River Revel and El Dorado Casino & Resort. March 28, 2 - 5 p.m., Festival Plaza in downtown Shreveport. Over 80 wines from around the world, samplings of signature dishes from the area’s finest restaurants. Live Music. Must be age 21 or older. Tickets are $85. For tickets please visit Easter on the Red River - Sat, Mar 28. Stoner Park, E Stoner Ave,, Shreveport, LA Huge outdoor event for the entire family. Free Easter egg hunt for the kids. Great prizes, music, games, booth vendors, food vendors, and so much more. All ages welcomed. Free. For more info call (318) 699-1130. Greek Easter Bread Sale - Sponsored by Ladies Philoptochos Society at St. George Greek Orthodox Church Activities Center, 542 Wichita, Shreveport. Thursday April 2, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Featuring Tsourekia (Greek Easter Bread), Koulourakia (butter cookies), and Pistachio Baklava. Advance orders are recommended. Order forms are available at or by calling 318-747-4478. Miles for Meals 5K Race and Fun/Run Walk - March 8 @ 2:00 p.m. Beginning at Marilyn’s Place, 4041 Fern Ave, Shreveport. Presented by the Caddo Council on Aging and will benefit their Meals on Wheels program. Live music. 5K will begin at 3 p.m. with the half-mile Fun Run/ Walk starting at approximately 3:15 p.m. The cost of the 5K is $30 preregistration and on race day and the Fun Run/Walk is $15 for all ages. Participants will receive

a t-shirt and a food/beverage coupon. Registration and more details are available on their website at meetings GENCOM Genealogical Society - Monthly meeting on Sunday, March 29 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Broadmoor Branch Library, 1212 Captain Shreve Drive, Shreveport. Kathy Love, will present a program "In Search of our Roots." Everyone is welcome and the meeting is free and open to the public. For more information and details call (318) 7737406 or email movie Sci-Port's Golden Days Matinee Weekdays 1 - 4 p.m. On the Shreveport riverfront. Seniors enjoy an IMAX film,

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March 2015
















the Kellers, a seemingly “All American” family, but the father has concealed a great sin which resulted in the death of 21 American pilots during the war. Tickets are $18 - $20. Call 318-424-4439 or Bonnie and Clyde: A New Musical Presented by Stagecenter at Emmett Hook Center, 550 Common St., Downtown Shreveport. March 12, 13, 14 @ 7:30 p.m. March 15 @ 3:00 p.m. March 20 @ 7:30 p.m. March 21 @ 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. At the height of the Great Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went from two small-town nobodies in West Texas to America's most renowned folk heroes and the Texas law enforcement's worst nightmares. Fearless, shameless, and alluring, their electrifying story of love, adventure and crime captured the excited attention of an entire country. Now, the most notorious couple of the 20th century takes on a whole new adventure: the stage. $20, Seniors $18, Students $15.

Free admission to Sciport galleries and a frozen yogurt. Games & activities available. All for $9. Groups call (318) 424-8660 to schedule. RaNDALL t. mOORE senior ceNTER Senior Center Fun - Randle T. Moore Center, 3101 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport. Caddo Council on Aging. Every Thursday and Friday. Coffee and cookies at 9:30 a.m. Fridays Senior Tech Talk at 10 a.m., 1on1 Tech at 11 a.m. free.

Nicholas Nickleby - Presented by Bossi-

er Parish Community College. March 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 at 7:30 pm; March 22 and 29 at 2:00 pm. This dramatization is a perfect evening in the theatre, offering the essence of Charles Dickens’ most theatrical novel, Nicholas Nickleby, with a parade of colorful characters. Of course, at the center of this “Life and Adventure” is the young man, Nicholas, finding his way to manhood and adult responsibility by a challenging and arduous journey. Nicholas Nickleby presents a delightful blend of comedy, mystery, and melodrama. For tickets visit nicholasnickleby/index.html or email Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - Friday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m. at The Strand Theatre, 619 Louisiana Ave., Shreveport. This breath-taking production is guaranteed to put a spring in your step and a tune on your lips. It’s toe-tapping good! A wedding of six couples caps off this classic musical, nominated for a Tony award for best original score. Ticket prices: $68.50, $55.50, $45.50, $29.50. Call (318) 2268555.

Theatre All my Sons - March 5, 6, and 7 at 8 pm. March 1 and 8 at 2:00 pm. Shreveport Little Theatre, 812 Margaret Place, Shreveport. All My Sons by Arthur Miller is the sad Post-World War II story about

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March 2015


Puzzle answers on page 40


March 2015


Difficulty: 

The Best Of Times

March 2015


(Puzzles on pages 38-39)

ANSWERS FROM THE EXPERTS Will Medicare cover my mother’s care in a nursing home? While Medicare does not pay room & board fees for one actually “living” in a nursing home, there are portions of nursing home care that are covered. Medicare covers 100 days of skilled nursing care when the doctor feels that either nursing or rehabilitation services for Medicare Part A insured persons are needed following a recent hospitalization of 3 or more days. Additionally, Medicare Parts B & D may pay for your mother’s medications and physical, speech or occupational theraVicki Ott pies ordered by a physician while she NurseCare Nursing and Rehab Center is in a nursing home. Depending upon 1736 Irving Place the financial situation, nursing home Shreveport, LA 71101 room & board is generally paid by the (318) 221-1983 individual, Medicaid, or Long Term Care See our ad on page 48. Insurance. What can I do to help my mom with her medications? She has several different medications and they get confusing for us both. Medicine Management is so important to wellness and is such a cost savings for health care providers, that your home health benefit can be used for just that, managing your medicines. A home health nurse will inventory, check for duplicate prescriptions, set up a weekly planner, and teach the patient and care givers about each medicine. The nurse will teach Don Harper about diet, side effects, and timing CHRISTUS HomeCare of your medicines too. Lastly, some & Hospice 1700 Buckner Sq., #200 patients stop taking a medicine because Shreveport, LA 71101 they feel good, when the reason they feel 318-681-7200 good is because they were taking that See our ad on page 33. medicine.


Is Osteoarthritis (OA) hereditary? OA does have a genetic predisposition. Common forms of OA of the hands has a familial component. Obesity is a modifiable risk factor for bilateral (both) knee OA and weight loss will reduce the risk of OA in the knee. Obesity, surprisingly, does not show an increased risk of hip OA, but does show increased risk of hand OA. John J. Ferrell, M.D. Mid South Orthopaedics Whether adipose tissue releases OA-caus7925 Youree Drive; ing growth factors or hormones is not Suite 210 known at present, but what is known is Shreveport, LA 71105 that weight loss does have an identifiable (318) 424-3400 improvement in OA of the knee. How long do the positive effects of CK last? Will I ever have to wear reading glasses again? Conductive Keratoplasty, or CK, is a wonderful procedure to help reduce your dependence on reading glasses. The positive effects of CK will last a lifetime, but everyone becomes more presbyopic with advancing age. As time goes on, patients will find themselves needing to use readChris Shelby, MD ing glasses more often. The good news Pierremont Eye Institute is, because CK has such a high safety 7607 Youree Dr. profile, it can be enhanced years later. Shreveport, LA 71105 For more info on CK and its benefits, 318-212-3937; visit us online at or See our ad on page 18. call us at (318) 212-3937.


March 2015

March Parting Shots

(l to r) John Cole, Shirley Parker, and Juanita Cawthon


ENCOM Genealogical Computer Society of North Louisiana held their monthly meeting on January 25 with guest speaker, TBT publisher Gary Calligas.

Share your photos with us. Email to


oly Nativity of the Lord Orthodox Mission held a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday February 7 at their new location on the Southern Loop. (l to r) Rev. Father Daniel Bethancourt, Holy Nativity’s pastor Rev. Father Jason Foster, Rev. Father David Bozeman, and Rev. Archpriest Basil Zebrun.

Gencom President Jim Jones

Msister Debbie McCaskill arilyn Dycus with her

in the Riverdome at Horseshoe Casino & Resort on February 13 to see Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band.


ohn Montelepre, Jr and John Montelepre III with the Open Table Award presented to 2 Johns Steak & Seafood in Bossier City as one of the only steakhouses in North Louisiana to receive the Top 100 Steakhouse award.

(l to r) Sonja Webb, Francis Lorant White, and Margaret Crosby d’Aquin Bonita Bandaries (left) and Sandra O’Bryan

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March 2015


March PARTING SHOTS (continued)

The Krewe of Elders welcomed guests to their Grande Bal XVII “Time Warp” on January 23 at Sam’s Town Hotel & Casino Ballroom

Connie and Doug Rivet (left) with Amy and Luke Stetson Krewe of Elders King Bob Sykes (kneeling) with visiting Kings

Krewe of Elders Royalty (l to r) Duke & Duchess of Wisdom Terry & Lisa Warner, Captain Julia Collins, King & Queen Bob and Gail Sykes, Co-Captain Randy Mobley, and Duchess & Duke of Longevity Wanda Cunningham and Charlie Raybine.

Krewe of Elders Queen Gail Sykes (animal print) with other ArkLaTex Krewe Queens

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March 2015

Happy Birthday S

tate Representative Barbara Norton was feted with a surprise birthday celebration on February 6 at the Sky Box at Independence Stadium. (l to r) Lavette Black, Michael Love, State Representative Norton, and Annette Bell.

Randy Mobley and Wanda Smith

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Marie and Harrison Smith

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Every Journey Begins With… Step one. We want to know what your lifestyle was like pre-amputation, what your expectations are moving forward and introduce you to the process of building your prosthesis to help you best meet those expectations. Robbie Brown’s goals were to continue to live the country life, tend to his garden and enjoy everything about the beautiful surroundings he and his wife have created for themselves. With these goals in mind, we applied our technology and creativity to design, fit and fabricate his prosthesis to ensure that everyday barriers, like steep steps, moist tilled earth and everything in between don’t slow him down. 1833 Line Avenue • Shreveport • (318) 424-4167 • Toll-Free 1-800-219-5273 211 Hall Street • Monroe • (318) 388-3126 • Toll-Free 1-800-685-2268 1404 Jackson Street • Alexandria • (318) 443-6391 • Toll-Free 1-800-289-3260

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March 2015


Technology Simplified – Bigger and BeTTer

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March 2015

moment you open the box, you’ll realize how different the WOW Computer is. The components are all connected; all you do is plug It into an outlet and your high-speed Internet connection. Then you’ll see the screen – it’s now 22 inches. This is a completely new touch screen system, without the cluttered look of the normal computer screen. The “buttons” on the screen are easy to see and easy to understand. All you do is touch one of them, from the Web, Email, Calendar to Games– you name it… and a new screen opens up. It’s so easy to use you won’t have to ask your children or grandchildren for help. Until now, the very people who could benefit most from E-mail and the Internet are the ones that have had the hardest time accessing it. Now, thanks to the WOW Computer, countless older Americans are Discovering the wonderful world of the Internet every day. Isn’t it time you took part? Call now, and a patient, knowledgeable product expert will tell

you how you can try it in your home for 30 days. If you are not totally satisfied, simply return it within 30 days for a refund of the product purchase price. Call today. • Send & Receive Emails • Have video chats with family and friends • Surf the Internet: Get current weather and news • Play games Online: Hundreds to choose from!

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March PARTING SHOTS (continued)



he Shreveport Symphony featured guest artist and Shreveport native John Henry Crawford in its Rising Stars performance on January 24. Judy Steinfeld and Dixie Jones Anita and Jack Berg

Keitha Fox, Ann Shanley, and Sandra Breithaupt

WAM (Wine, Art & Music)

was presented by the Bossier Arts Council at Boomtown Casino and Resort’s 1800 Prime Restaurant on February 5. Michael and Julie Miller

Scott and Karen Kennedy with Patricia Thompson (right)

Robin Jones, Chef Konstantin Plavnik, and Julie Crews


he Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau presented the latest Shreveport Musical Legends and Legacy Tour, led by Johnny Wessler, a local music historian. (l to r) Joe Veneto, Stacy Brown, Johnny Wessler, Melissa Small and Brandy Evans. The Best Of Times

March 2015


March Parting Shots (continued)


Health in Shreveport held their “graduation” ceremonies on February 10 for community members who attended Mini Medical School to learn more about the latest medical developments from medical school faculty and Marshall and Mary Martin  leaders. with Dr. Barish Emilane Watson with Chancellor of LSU Health Shreveport Dr. Robert Barish

 Beverly Bowers with Dr. Barish  Waynette Ballengee and Bobbie Trust


he Shreveport Medical Society held their annual Oyster Party at Savoie’s on February 6. Dr Bob Thornton and Dr Jeff Faludi Dr Tom & Tracy Pressly

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March 2015

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Vicki Ott

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Chasity Ellis Angie Hayes Charlotte McCune

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Profile for Gary Calligas


The March 2015 issue of The Best of Times features 18 Habits That Will Change Your Life plus articles about financial matters, health and we...


The March 2015 issue of The Best of Times features 18 Habits That Will Change Your Life plus articles about financial matters, health and we...